- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NEW YORK — Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen underwent surgery Wednesday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow.

The surgery, which was performed in Washington by team doctor Wiemi Douoguih, was considered minor and went well.

Storen’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports, said Storen is expected to be back with enough time to “make a meaningful contribution this year.”

The timetable for his return is not known at this point, but the feeling is that, if all goes well in his recovery, Storen could return around the All-Star break.

Recovery from this type of surgery can vary, but most estimates range from two to four months.

Former Nationals starter Jason Marquis had bone chips removed from his right elbow May 14, 2010. He made his next major league start Aug. 8.

The bone chip was first discovered when Storen underwent an MRI-arthrogram March 22 after experiencing some elbow soreness early in spring training.

The test showed a small “loose body,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. But Storen could have been pitching with it for years, and the decision was made to try and treat the tenderness with rest and medication.

Storen began throwing off a mound at the end of March. As the Nationals opened the season, he was in Viera, Fla., continuing his rehab.

Throwing off a mound gave him no issue, but when he faced hitters for the first time in a simulated game Sunday, the soreness returned. Storen’s tests were sent to renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second look.

It was decided then that surgery was the best option for Storen, 24, who saved 43 games last year. In his absence, the Nationals will continue to use veteran right-hander Brad Lidge and flame-throwing righty Henry Rodriguez to save games.

Storen is expected to be at the Nationals’ home opener Thursday.

• Amanda Comak can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com.

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